Campaign launched to save Bexhill Drill Hall from demolition

Bexhill Drill Hall
Bexhill Drill Hall

A campaign has been launched to save Bexhill’s historic Drill Hall from demolition.

The Hall was built in 1914 for the local Territorial Artillery, Engineers, Rifles and Yeomanry and has enjoyed military associations ever since.

The Bexhill Drill Hall is now one of very few such buildings remaining in south-east England.

But this piece of the town’s history faces demolition as part of a major new development, which could see a new leisure centre, hotel and up to 52 new homes built on the site next to Bexhill Down.

Now Bexhill Heritage has submitted its own plans, showing how the historic front section of the hall might be retained as an integral part of the development proposed by Rother District Council.

Raymond Konyn, the chairman of Bexhill Heritage, said: “We understand that it’s always more straightforward to build on a cleared site.

“But it’s far more important to avoid losing another of the town’s heritage assets.

“The Drill Hall would add quality and interest to the council’s proposed ‘Destination Leisure’ development.

“Our plans show how this could work.

“We envisage that the building could be used as part of the hotel, as a conference centre, for housing (including affordable homes) and for other community uses that may include a tourist or heritage centre.

“We’re in touch with leading councillors to find ways of achieving a first-class leisure development while also respecting Bexhill’s proud heritage.”

A spokesperson for Rother District Council told the Bexhill Observer: “We are aware of the issues Bexhill Heritage has regarding the future of the Drill Hall in relation to our proposals to redevelop the site including the provision of a new leisure centre.

“We will be meeting with them in due course to discuss these issues.”